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Do You Really Need A Magazine Carrier?

by Daniel @HolsterCentral on June 16, 2020

Estimated 5 min read.
Do i really need to carry a spare magazine

Do you really NEED to carry a Mag Carrier?? - Maybe not...

But Is it nice to have?... Absolutely!!

In this blog we will delve into all of the pros of carrying a Mag Carrier and believe me there are few to no cons...

With a lot of EDC items already accumulating such as your phone, wallet, keys, knife, gun and holster. A Mag Carrier is sometimes overlooked as it's one more item to add to your EDC, which then stops people taking this extra step, but let's explore the benefits and you can decide for yourself.

We have all heard the old adage "if you need more than X amount of rounds, you really do have a major problem on your hands and probably multiple"....

Well, yes in the case of a deadly threat encounter you may have a lot of major problems and it's impossible to predict if 7, 8, 10 rounds is "enough" to stop the threat. 

Another one you may have heard is "if you need X amount of rounds, your shot placement is at fault".
Insinuating you aren't trained well enough, haven't practiced and it is your fault that you need more rounds.
Consider the stress of a situation with moving targets and multiple threats,
and believe it or not, it's not like the movies where one shot sends someone flying to instant death unless it's a clean headshot.
However a headshot is difficult shot to make in the heat of the moment, which is why most people's instinct is to go for center mass and with heavy clothing and a larger size person it might take several shots to stop the threat. You might be the best shot ever and hit the target and they are still coming at you!
Most Police officers these days carry a 17 round gun like a Glock 17 with a 17 round magazine and even carry a spare magazine or two on top of that for this very reason.
Magazine Carrier

People say "The odds of needing a spare mag is so small".
Well as concealed carriers we are already committed to the mindset of preparedness of having it and not needing it, versus needing it and not having it.
Yes the odds of needing your gun is already small, but Murphy's law has a weird way of working out, it would be typical that the day you need your gun to save your life, it's your mag that craps out on you.
The worst situation would be you have got your gun, have practiced diligently, got your holster, carried your gun religiously for years and on that one day your mag malfunctions and you are screwed.
Why roll the dice? You might as well have that extra mag to give you a redundancy in case the worst comes to the worst. 
Carrying one gun is hassle enough, it's not practical for most people to carry a back up gun, but you can carry a back up magazine.
Mag Carrier

The only real "Con" is that it's one extra thing to carry. That's it. 

However, let's look over 8 Reasons why you might want to consider carrying one.

Spare Magazine Pros

1. Extra ammunition - There's a reason why cops no longer carry revolvers and have moved to carry a semi automatic hand guns with a higher capacity. Just google the Newhall Incident for more information on that. You never know what situation you might be faced with, it's much better to have the extra ammunition and not need it than need it and not have it.

2. Magazine Malfunction - A lot of major malfunctions are a result of a bad magazine, if that happens and you don't have a back up the result could be catastrophic and cost you your life. 

3. If you already carry a gun with little rounds, like a micro compact with 7+1 rounds, an extra 7 rounds is nice to have.  

4. Facing Multiple threats. Most people when they picture being attacked think of having to defend against one person. In a lot of violent crime incidents, quite often there is multiple assailants, if you need to use a lot of rounds on each, you may run to empty especially if you were to miss under stress at two or more moving targets. 

5. A Mass shooters capacity - In this day and age in a mass shooting most of these cowards are carrying long guns, you have no idea what weapons they might have. They could already have an advantage in size of gun, ease of use, fire power and capacity as you can't possibly concealed carry an AR-15 to match their "fire power" but having more capacity to help try to level the playing field somewhat may be helpful if you need to lay down some suppressive fire. 

6. Have you considered the shooter may be wearing body armor? Extra capacity could make the difference in taking down a threat if the bad guy is wearing some form of body armor. 

7. An extra magazine could give you up to 34 or more capacity. My carry gun has a 17 round magazine and with an extra magazine that bumps me up to 34 rounds plus one in the chamber that is more than a single 30 round AR-15 round magazine. 

8. Perhaps you want to carry different rounds for different purposes. Some police officers have a Jacketed Hollow Point mag loaded for a target where they have to watch over penetration and want it to stop inside the threat. And they carry a FMJ Ball Ammo Magazine for if they need more penetration, perhaps shooting through a car or the bad guys concealment and they want that penetration so they have a spare mag loaded for that with Full Metal Jacket rounds.

Those are the main benefits of carrying an extra magazine.



Magazine Carrier Pros

Let's look at some of the benefits of carrying using a magazine carrier.

1. It means you are not fishing for your back up mag, if you keep it in your pocket, it could be co mingled with your other EDC Items, perhaps your gum, cigarettes, loose change, wallet, who knows. Everyone is short of pocket space as it is, shoving your mag in there is not going to make for a speedy reload. 

2. Your magazine is sat upright in the right position facing the right direction for a quick and consistent reload. 

3. It allows you to have a quicker reload and drill your reloads from a consistent position to form that muscle memory from dry fire so when you need to do it under stress it will hopefully be as close to second nature as possible.

4. It allows you to practice reloads and malfunctions during dry fire.

Magazine carrier


You will need to practice with your mag carrier just like you practice your draw with your gun..

What to look for in a mag carrier - 

  • Is it made to fit your specific guns magazines? Some mag carriers are universal, some are for single stack mags, some are for double stack mags. 
  • Build quality - What is the thickness of the Kydex, is it corrosion resistant, are the screws/hardware high quality. 
  • Belt attachment - Do you want one that is quick to attach/detach? Or do you want one that you thread your belt through semi permanently until you unthread your entire belt to take it off. 
  • Is it made for your dominant hand or ambidextrous?
  • IWB or OWB or both - Is it for concealment? How well does it conceal inside the waistband, is it comfortable. Or is it for Range/Competition/Duty and made to be worn outside the waistband? Is it a mag carrier like this one which can be worn inside or outside the waistband. 
  • Adjustable retention - You don't want a loose mag carrier with it bouncing around when wearing it. 

Double Stack Mag Carrier

For us this mag carrier checks all of those boxes, it's corrosion resistant, 0.8 thickness kydex, it is quick clip on/off, it is ambidextrous, can be worn IWB or OWB and has adjustable retention.

So in Conclusion, ultimately only you can decide if carrying a mag carrier is for you and if your carry gun has "enough" rounds for whatever situation you may face and if you can sleep at night having made that decision. If you want more than enough rounds for any situation you may face, a mag carrier is the way to go!

If you have a chance, please leave us a comment with your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment
by Dave on May 29, 2020

I always carry a mag carrier, some great points i hadn’t even considered that reaffirmed why I always carry one. Great article!


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